A Tale of Two Dirtbags

Will John Edwards’ pending admission that he fathered an illegitimate child with his mistress receive the same media attention as Gov. Mark Sanford’s admitted affair?

Well, gee, at least he didn’t tell everyone that he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

I don’t know about you, but I’m bracing myself for the deafening silence from the mainstream press sure to come when former Democratic Party vice presidential nominee and presidential candidate John Edwards admits what those of us with even a shred of intelligence have known for a long time now — that he not only was unfaithful to his lovely, cancer-stricken wife, not only refused to admit to the affair, but that he fathered a child with his mistress, forced a campaign aide to falsely admit that the child was his, and unlawfully paid her to keep quiet with funds from his political action committee.

Unfortunately, infidelity among politicians is far from rare. And even in the past few years, we’ve seen some startlingly interesting variations of the typical illicit affair, from a New Jersey governor admitting to the world–not to mention his wife–that he was “a gay American,” to an Idaho senator tap-dancing like Shirley Temple in a Minneapolis airport bathroom, to a New York governor better known as “Client No. 9.”

The most recent example, however, was perhaps the most strange. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford first made headlines when he actually went missing for a few days. Then, we were told that he was hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Finally, when he came home from a quick trip to Argentina, where he was shagging a mistress he described as his “soul mate,” we were treated to one of the most surreal press conferences of all time. To make matters even more interesting, Sanford was considered a possible presidential candidate in 2012.

My goodness, the mainstream press loved it. For nearly a week, the Sanford story led the news cycles, even preceding stories about landmark legislation being considered in Congress. Every commentator on the left waxed poetic about his political future, about his previous erratic behavior, about his hypocrisy as a Christian and a conservative. `

Somehow, I don’t expect John Edwards’ admission to receive anywhere near the same attention, even though he was already on John Kerry’s doomed presidential ticket in 2004 (an election that many on the left still think Kerry won), and even though his continued presence in the 2008 Democratic Party primary–as the mainstream press remained conspicuously silent on news of his affair–may have siphoned enough votes from Hillary Clinton so as to provide Barack Obama with the nomination.

Indeed, even apart from all of that, the narrative surrounding Edwards’ affair is exponentially more compelling (and more criminal) than that of Sanford’s Argentinian liaison. Let’s review:

  • February 12, 1999. Edwards, at a closed impeachment hearing in the wake of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, said of Clinton: “I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.
  • November 3, 2004. On the very day that John Kerry made official his defeat in the 2004 presidential election, Elizabeth Edwards is diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Mid 2006: Edwards is introduced to Rielle Hunter, an unknown filmmaker of questionable talent. His fledgling campaign organization pays her in excess of $100,000 to produce and shoot a few videos for the candidate and campaign.
  • December 28, 2006. Alongside volunteers in New Orleans, Louisiana, Edwards announces that he will pursue the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
  • March 22, 2007. Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, hold a joint press conference to announce to the world that Elizabeth’s cancer has returned, and that the prognosis–Stage IV with tumors in her ribs and lungs–was not good. Elizabeth swore to stand by her husband, and insisted that his presidential campaign go on. In John Edwards’ statement, he says: “I intend to do what I’ve always done with Elizabeth. We’ve been together every step of the way.”
  • October 10, 2007. The National Enquirer, a popular supermarket tabloid known for sensational celebrity news, first publishes an article claiming that Edwards was having an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter. Both Hunter and Edwards denied the tabloid’s allegations, with the latter saying that the story was “false,” that it was “completely untrue,” and that it was “ridiculous.” Nary a mainstream media outlet bothers to address the story.
  • December 19, 2007. Only a little more than two weeks before the all-important Iowa caucus, The National Enquirer reports that Rielle Hunter is pregnant. Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign staffer, comes forward and says that he is the father.
  • January 30, 2008. John Edwards officially abandons his bid for the Democratic Party nomination. In various interviews, he says that he is looking forward to returning home and being with Elizabeth.
  • February 27, 2008. Rielle Hunter gives birth to a baby girl. Frances Quinn Hunter’s birth certificate is noticeably missing information with regard to a father, even though ex-Edwards aide Young had just two months before claimed paternity.
  • July 2008. The National Enquirer again picks up where the mainstream press refused to tread or even investigate, reporting that Edwards was caught visiting Hunter at a Los Angeles hotel. Photographs are said to exist. Witnesses claim to have seen him at the hotel. Yet, at a press conference held halfway across the country, Edwards denies it all, saying that “the tabloid trash is full of lies.”
  • August 4, 2008. The National Enquirer publishes a report alleging that Hunter has been “secretly receiving $15,000 a month as part of an elaborate cover-up orchestrated by the former presidential contender.” The tabloid deems it “HU$H MONEY.”

  • August 6, 2008. The National Enquirer, standing alone in a sea of silent press, releases photographs showing not only Edwards visiting the Beverly Hills Hilton, but showing him with Hunter and with the baby as well.
  • August 8, 2008. Finally, Edwards admits that the “ridiculous” and “false” reports published by the lying tabloid newspaper were in fact correct, and that he was indeed having an affair with Rielle Hunter. Still, he denies being the father of Frances Quinn, and denies any financial wrongdoing.
  • May 3, 2009. ABC News and other outlets report that Edwards faces a federal probe scrutinizing his use of campaign funds, citing the possible conversion for personal use of approximately $115,000 in political action committee funds — the $100,000 reportedly paid to Rielle Hunter for the campaign videos, as well as another $14,086.50 paid to her firm later. Edwards issues a statement saying that he is “confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly.”
  • August 6, 2009. Rielle Hunter turns up, along with daughter Frances, at a federal courthouse in North Carolina. She spends nine hours there.
  • August 12, 2009. The National Enquirer reports that a secret DNA test confirms that John Edwards is indeed the father of Rielle Hunter’s baby girl.
  • August 13, 2009. A television station in North Carolina reports that Edwards will admit paternity at some point before the close of the federal investigation. Young, the former ex-staffer, apparently has a book in the works in which he reveals the truth about the affair and the child.

From the very beginning, the mainstream press ignored this story, even though any hint of infidelity among a Republican is front-page news, so much so that the New York Times ran a front-page, above-the-fold hit piece insinuating without a single named source that GOP presidential nominee John McCain had been engaging in an extramarital affair with a Washington lobbyist. When it comes to Republican scandals of all stripes, the media will stop at nothing to tarnish reputations and ruin lives, going so far as to manufacture documents, fabricate witness accounts, and make up facts. When the scandal surrounds a Democrat, however, when at all possible the media’s silence is absolutely deafening.

For almost a week, the press feasted on the [albeit strange] news that Gov. Mark Sanford, a potential presidential hopeful and outspoken critic of the Obama administration, had engaged in an affair with a woman from Argentina, an affair that even Sanford’s wife had been apprised of months before. In Edwards, we have an absolute dirtbag who cheated on his cancer-stricken wife, denied doing so, fathered an illegitimate child, denied doing so, paid hush money out of his PAC (a criminal act), denied doing so, and was not only a presidential hopeful, but a former vice presidential nominee.

Yet, from the mainstream press, crickets are once again chirping. John Edwards’ conduct has been reprehensible, for sure, but it is the media, in actively concealing relevant facts about favored politicians, which is being unfaithful to the American people.

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Comments

  1. BABY DADDY says:

    I thought he said two Americas, not two women.

  2. SMOOTH AND SILKY says:

    Is this going to hurt any possible shampoo endorsements?

  3. goddessdivine says:

    Great timeline of events. Well, not so great for Edwards….the schmuck. You can't get much lower than cheating on your stage IV cancer-stricken wife.

    Don't you know? Dems can lie, cheat, and steal and get away with it; Repubs so much as look at the president wrong and they get accused of being racist. We do live in two Americas: One that gets it, one that doesn't.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The answer is NO!

  5. Rix says:

    > Don't you know? Dems can lie, cheat, and steal and get away with
    > it; Repubs so much as look at the president wrong and they get accused
    > of being racist.

    Ditto! And I wonder if Republicans, if they ever destined to return to the White House, will dare to reshuffle this rigged deck. Most likely, they will not.

  6. Gail B says:

    I noticed that it was on the front of Globe magazine while I was at the grocery store this afternoon. Sharing the cover was a picture of a bloody shirt of Michael Jackson's and the statement that he was murdered.

    Wonder how much is true?

  7. Gail B says:

    I did not buy the Globe, BTW.

  8. sharon says:

    I can relate totally… Debbie Stabenow, my Michigan senator (democrat)remained out of the news almost completely when her husband (who she is still with today) was caught with a prostitute here about three years ago. He was indicted and she was so fortunate to be a democrat as you could have heard crickets in regard to the media coverage….. And, just to make your day, he was arrested in a hotel on Big Beaver Rd. off of highway # 69… nope, can't make this stuff up.

  9. Gail B says:

    Jeff, you're beginning to sound quite frustrated, like you're as tired of slanted journalism by the MSM as the rest of us are.

    Maybe school will give your mind a rest–no, that won't happen, not with the hours you keep!

  10. Let us move forward says:

    What's really amazing is that the tabloids are picking up on stories that the MSM should be.

    Or is it that the MSM is acting like a tabloid when it comes to Republicans?

    Do the owners of the tabloids see a path to respectability? Or was "Men in Black" trying to tell us something?!

  11. Anonymous says:

    i want edwards to feel the brunt of this because i want this country to get back to ethics in government and everywhere.

    it seems government if being filled with misfits with bad intentions and using it as an escape for their dirty deeds.

    not until edwards endorsed obama did i susbect the dirtBag he is. i reasoned, "how can a man who claims he is for the poor and have their best interests at hand align himself with the likes of obama especially having just made the Bible and Guns comment about residents of PA? – and how can he choose obama whose ideas are further than those of HIllary's?"

    fast forward to him being caught in that hotel in the earliest hours of the morning and his attempt to still lie. what was he doing three at 2:30am? everything he denied after that was an obvious lie.

    we need to always be outraged and always act to show these so called "leaders," that they dont fit the bill. its the way to keep others in line and only attract ethical people.

    like Sanford this wasnt a "ooops`-forgive-me-for-even-entertaining-a-pass-at-you" moment. there were planned meetings and deceiving. how this man did this to a woman with cancer makes me want to bring up my dinner. like sanford, how dare he leave these innocent children with memories like THAT?

    THESE are the things that mess up the lives of individuals, especially if they have no help in dealing with the things in their heads at a young age.

    shame on edwards. i hope he asks God's forgiveness and means it. i hope he becomes a better person and he had better be thankful he has enough money to make it without being hired by someone else. ANY ATTEMPT BACK INTO PUBLIC OFFICE SHOULD BE A SLAMMED DOOR!

    he not only played with the minds of his children with Elizabeth but also the child with Hunter altho i blame this Hunter too, but the child had nothing to do with it.

    TWO dirtbags is right.

  12. Anonymous says:

    "edwards admits the child is his…" (paraphrasing) but i saw that several places….

    question is would he have done so if hunter didnt do her own dna that proved it? NO. edwards would have continued his dirty little lie.

    imo edwards only ran to give him a reason to be with "that woman," whenever he wished. I think Hunter is a moneyseeker and she will be talking all over the place real soon for dollars. she's going to expose the wimp in edwards and his hurt hasnt even started yet.

    put him in jail for 10 years while someone else takes these children through their teens and prepare them for college.

  13. Anonymous says:

    john edwards will forever be known as the man that gave some credibility to the National Enquirer. did they bagged this one long before anyone was taking it seriously>

  14. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget:

    On June 7, 2007, Edwards was given the Father of the Year award.

  15. Courtney says:

    I don't read these, but I think it was the Globe (not sure though) at the end of the checkout in Walmart last week that had the birth certificate story on the front page. The headline actually read something like "Birth Certificate fake making his presidency illegal"

    I almost bought it to see their take on it, then thought nah…..

  16. Courtney says:

    here it is – but I don't subscribe so it's not the full story

    http://www.globemagazine.com/story/379

    reading the comments is kind of interesting lol

  17. Courtney says:

    to Gail B –

    Funny both of us noticing the globe stories – I didn't see your post yet when I wrote mine :)

    Didn't the tabloids "break" the story on Edwards originally.

    very funny verification word "benise"

  18. Anonymous says:

    It is so in your face how the MSM totally ignores this man's despicable character yet tries to make up stories about Sarah Palin and her husband divorcing…..the corruption in our country is running rampant….especially in the DemoCRAP party!!!

  19. Gail B says:

    Yes, Courtney–I believe you are right.

    In fact, Globe has reported correctly other stories that the MSM have failed to "discover."

  20. Linda says:

    Of course this won't be talked about like Sanford was. By this time Sanford was all over the place, you barely hear the Edwards story.

    BTW, is anyone else ticked off that BHO is out on a "campaign tour" (the only thing he knows how to do), but this time on OUR dime touting this healthcare thing that no one wants – but that Bill Clinton (in his fatherly you-better-or-I'll-get-you face) has said will be signed no matter what the disapproval rating is? It was one thing when he was campaigning, but now he's using my money against me. The new "campaign tour" bothers me because somehow when he speaks it's like the pied piper and people fall into this stupor. Hope those who have spoken out continue to do so.

  21. Bodenzee says:

    I believe that it is rather naive to expect that John Edwards' behavior would be the subject of any serious reporting. It doesn't support the position or objective of the "talking heads."

    There was a time when the news outlets had true journalists, a profession that was honorable and that many strived to excel at. Today, more of the flock have been educated as "communications majors." Not so honorable a profession because it places value on shaping public opinion, more than on just relating truth; advertising versus reporting fact. Look at definitions of journalist and journalism
    :
    "A journalist is a person who practises journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues, and people while striving for viewpoints that aren't biased." and "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation."

    Do these definitions describe the majority of today’s talking heads? No. We don’t have journalists anymore, we have employees of entertainment companies whose roles are to shape public opinion through the presentation of selected truths, and in some cases the delivery of distortions and untrue statements.

    Today’s anchors are creating a new “oldest profession.”

  22. Anonymous says:

    Off subject but things you MUST know!!!

    Ten Things You Should Know About “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act”
    The bill will ban all private health insurance plans that are not sold through a “health
    insurance exchange” administered by the federal government.1
    As many as 114 million Americans may lose their current coverage if the bill passes.2
    Up to 5.5 million jobs may be lost, according to a model developed by President
    Obama’s own chief economic advisor.3
    While the Congressional Budget Office claims the bill will cost $1.28 trillion, it will
    actually cost $9.2 trillion over the next 75 years.4
    The bill contains $820 billion in tax increases, the largest tax increase in history.5
    Companies that do not provide their employees with a government-approved health
    insurance plan will be taxed at 8%, forcing many employers to drop coverage for
    their employees.6
    Individuals that do not obtain a government-approved health insurance plan will be
    taxed an additional 2.5% of their income, or $1,000 for every $40,000 they make.7
    After increases in income taxes on those making $350,000 or more, the top tax rate in
    39 states will be more than 50%; the highest wage earners in New York will be taxed at
    58%, more than any country in the world, including Sweden.8

    The bill will cost the average person $460 more in premiums each year.9
    Even after the plan takes effect, 34% of the estimated uninsured will still lack
    coverage.10

    Sally

  23. Madalyn says:

    When I was growing up the president, members of congress, the senate, the house of representatives were treated like mini-Gods. They were looked up to. They were the ones who were supposed to be our leaders. How time changes things. Now, they are the ones committing adultry, lying, being treasonous, and selling our great country out. What a shame. I want my America back. The one the world looked up to. The one where the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, the American Bald Eagle, and incredibly the American Flag were revered. Now they are all treated as something expendable. When I go to a sporting event and listen to the National Anthem, I cringe. Each singer puts their own spin on it. It is NOT a rap song, it is not a C&W song, it is not heavy metal. It deserves the respect it was indended for. Same as the flag, the pledge and all the rest. I have always been proud of my country, unlike the First Lady. Such a shame. A great country being sold to the highest bidder. Is George Sorros bidding? HELP ME GET MY COUNTRY BACK!.
    Thank you for letting me vent
    madalyn

  24. doogle says:

    I noticed there was enough room for one more face in that oh so sweet Edward's family shot in the article…it's a good thing.

  25. Anonymous says:

    maybe few in between but there very good people in

    we must focus more on the actual person seeking the office instead of ANYONE hiding under the umbrella of "the party."

    we must get back to electing people with sound morals and who have demonstrated a life dedicated to THIS country and ALL people.

    we are in this mess because too many people didnt care enough to see the bigger picture. we cannot say the signs were not there. MSM i blame in large part for not exposing what they knew and what warranted scrutinizing.

    then you come across a not-so-obvious one like edwards…. what a snake in the grass. i hope the legal system use every possible opportunity to punish him and make him pay. if it turns out he actually used funds from ordinary citizens to pay this woman in order not to trace the money to his personal account then i hope they take him to the big house and leave him there for a minimum of 5 years hard labor. he needs an awakening.

  26. Bodenzee says:

    Madalyn,

    Idon't thing\k he's bidding. Rather, I think he has purchased an option to buy. We just don't get to read the terms and conditions.

  27. Gail B says:

    Hey, whats_up–

    Obama/Soetoro has slipped another index point in his approval polls.

    I emailed a girl who graduated from high school with me about Obama/Soetoro. She replied that if I read only that which agreed with my side of things, I wouldn't learn anything.

    I replied asking if she knew the legal name of the alleged president. She said it was Barack Hussein Obama. I asked her if she could tell me when he changed it from Barry Soetoro, and attached to the email was the Indonesian school record stating that he is Indonesian.

    She replied with no comment. I told her not to feel bad–that others have been trying to establish his identity for over a year without success. (No reply yet!) I passed Civics–don't know about her!

  28. Linda says:

    You go Gail!!!

  29. Gail B says:

    Linda-

    ROFLMAO! You sound like another friend from high school. Her name is Michael, and she calls me "Showtime!" I sent Mikey an email that I had contacted an attorney re the constitutionality of Obama/Soetoro's Czars. She said, "Guess we can plan on never hearing from you again then, ‘cause your workload is gonna increase bigtime, Showtime."

    The other girl, mentioned in the earlier comment, did reply. She could not back her statements up about the conservatives causing all the problems at the town halls. I told her that the trouble-making protesters were paid by Obama/Soetoro's people…and forwarded an ad from Craigslist to prove it. Jeff knows–I sent it to him, too. She is one furious Obot!

  30. KENYA IS LOVELY says:

    I pray the Globe's birth certificate coverage pans out as well.

  31. THE GOOD WIFE says:

    KARMA:
    In a few years he will have no hair, and his wife will have left him.

  32. SNIP SNIP says:

    You'd think a millionaire could afford a $200 vasectomy, or does his ego not allow that?

  33. Linda says:

    Gail: Well, my husbana and those who know me call me "Killer" because, as my husband says, you don't want to get into a match of words with me because I'll "kill" you. So sounds like, even though we've never met, the mold was shared between the two of us.

  34. Gail B says:

    LINDA-

    Well, Killer, happily we are on the same team! :-) )
    /s/ Showtime

  35. WHY IS HEALTH INSURANCE EXPENSIVE? says:

    (CNSNews.com) – The superstar trial lawyer accomplishments of John Edwards, which allowed this former millworker to amass a personal fortune, finance his successful U.S. Senate run in 1998 and catapult himself into the 2004 race for president, may have been partially built on "junk science," according to legal and medical experts who spoke with CNSNews.com .

    Edwards, who with a late surge finished second in Monday's Iowa Caucuses, continues to cite one of his most lucrative legal victories as an example of how he would stand up for "the little guy" if elected president.

    Edwards became one of America's wealthiest trial lawyers by winning record jury verdicts and settlements in cases alleging that the botched treatment of women in labor and their deliveries caused infants to develop cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that causes motor function impairment and lifelong disability.

    Although he was involved in other types of personal injury litigation, Edwards specialized in infant cerebral palsy and brain damage cases during his early days as a trial lawyer and with the Raleigh, N.C., firm of Edwards & Kirby.

    Edwards has repeatedly told campaign audiences that he fought on behalf of the common man against the large insurance companies. But a political critic with extensive knowledge of Edwards' legal career in North Carolina told CNSNews.com a different story

    "Edwards always helped the little guy as long as he got a million dollars out of it," said the source, who did not want to be identified.

  36. Katherine says:

    OK, this is a flawed comparison for several reasons.
    1) John Edwards is no longer in office, and wasn't even when the news of his affair broke.
    2) When the news of John Edwards' affair broke, it was covered VERY heavily, at least to the same extent as Sanford.
    3) Do you really think the news will heavily cover Sanford again if it is found he fathered a child with the Argentinean? I guess you do, but remember that the news just does what it thinks people will be interested in. They're interested in the first break of something. That's the affair. Whether or not there was a kid is less interesting, especially for a character like Sanford, who will no longer be in contention for president, so he is no longer interesting to the public. Sarah Palin or Barack Obama are the types of people who will continually get coverage long after they are irrelevant, just because they are such prominent figures that people have such strong feelings about. If Palin doesn't ever hold political office again but has an affair in 15 years, it will be covered all over the place. (I'd say the same for Obama, but by then he will have been a former president so it wouldn't be as amazing to have such massive coverage.)

    I don't think that the media sees Edwards as different from Sanford. Both were presidential contenders. Edwards was always eliminated, but the story was interesting to people because it was a, "omg, what if he had been the nominee!" as well as a, "hey, I know who that guy is. He ran for president and VP." Sanford was less well-known because he hadn't run yet, but also more important in that his affair had more implications for the future (whereas Edwards was already eliminated…twice.)

    So again, I see this complaint as a total straw man argument. The media have not treated the two differently…nor do liberals actually give a shit about Edwards in the first place (even if the media are "liberal", they wouldn't mind slamming Edwards.)

  37. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Katherine,

    There was ZERO coverage last week in the wake of this revelation, even though Edwards is under federal grand jury investigation, even though his wife just released a bestselling book about her struggle with cancer, and even though there are STILL Sanford stories popping up.

    It took a single mainstream newspaper more than a year to pick up on the Edwards affair — and only after photos surfaced. For Mark Sanford, they were checking the airports. According to a friend of mine at the Post, The NYT reportedly had people on the Appalachian Trail.

    Now, you can argue credibility of the Enquirer, as I would, but the Enquirer broke the Anthrax story … and a newspaper should at least send a reporter to check things out.

    On this story, the bias is staggering.

  38. Gail B says:

    Katherine–
    Interesting rebuttal, BUT…I have a little trouble with one of your statements:

    "but remember that the news just does what it thinks people will be interested in. They're interested in the first break of something."

    HOW LONG did we have to listen to reports of Michael Jackson's death? His demise eclipsed the deaths of others that week, including Farrah Fawcett's.

    If ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PRN, and PBS (I've probably missed somebody) actually told people what they wanted to know about, why is everybody jumping all over Glenn Beck? And, why does Doug Hagmann, investigator/journalist, have affidavits signed by people with those networks that they were threatened if they aired anything directing suspicion to Obama/Soetoro's identity, past, and records? EIGHTY PERCENT of Americans do not believe he is a natural-born citizen; whether he is a U.S. citizen or not is irrelevant.

    It is OBVIOUS that the MSM is slanting its coverage of anyone affiliated with a political party; it doesn't support the liberals' agenda to make a liberal Democrat look bad.

    "First break of something" my rosterium! Have you seen any coverage of Obama/Soetoro's identity? Have you seen the MSM question Obama/Soetoro about why he won't release records? Have you seen anything where the MSM asked Obama/Soetoro why he WON'T release information or why he's spending into the next million dollars to PREVENT HIS HAVING TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH?

    Can you prove who he is? The only document I have found with his name on it is his school record in Indonesia, where he's Soetoro, an Indonesian, Islamic Muslim.

    I would say that the real identity of the President of the United States should be public knowledge, and 80 percent of Americans agree with me.

  39. OPEN THE ENVELOPE says:

    Yes, Gail, yes. This pres belongs on an episode of Maury.

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